I’m in Oxford. I’ll be spending all tomorrow doing training, and much of Wednesday visiting bookshops and libraries. But because we have a 9:30am start tomorrow I am staying in a hotel on expenses, which is nice.
The hotel, by the way, is a Holiday Inn on the ring road by the airport turnoff. It’s very standard, but very comfortable and the hot tub, sauna and steam room are nice.
It is, however, a long way out of town, and there’s not a lot in the way of restaurants immediately obvious. Also Berkeley hadn’t had lunch and was ravenous. So we took ourselves into town. Our new colleague, Aaron, had found a restaurant he said did good Chinese, Malaysian and Singapore cuisine. It was in Walton Street in the Jherico district. We managed to park OK not too far away and wandered up towards the restaurant. We passed several other places on the way, all of which looked nice and were fairly empty. Then we got to the place Aaron had found, and it was heaving. Fortunately they had a downstairs dining room and were able to seat us.
It was fabulous. I had beef rendang with coconut rice; Berkeley had a Szechuan lamb dish with egg fried rice; Aaron had chicken satay; and we shared some crispy duck for starters. Oh, and Berkeley had soup because ravenous. All of it was very good.
Getting back to the hotel I checked the place out on the web, and the first thing I see on their website is enthusiastic recommendations from Giles Coren and Ken Hom. Well duh!
Nice job, Aaron. And for the rest of you, should you happen to be in Oxford, a very fine place to eat is Zheng.
As a special bonus, the restaurant is indeed named after one of China’s most famous people: Admiral Zheng-He. Who was, I note, a eunuch, and therefore in many people’s view a non-binary gendered person.